SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Last week, the U.S. Surgeon General announced a growing epidemic sweeping the nation. Loneliness.

In an 80-page advisory, Dr. Vivek Murthy says half of U.S. adults experience measurable loneliness, and it’s greater among young adults. Murthy says loneliness not only increases your risk of depression, anxiety and suicide, it also increases your risk for heart disease by 29%, stroke by 35% and Dementia by 50%.

This Wellness Wednesday, we’re on your side with help on how to combat loneliness. Mary Jo Horton helps us navigate why so many people are experiencing loneliness and how to make some healthy connections.

Loneliness and Isolation
– It is truly about the lack of physical and emotional connection
– Increases depression, anxiety and chronic physical health conditions
– Our minds and body are designed for physical and emotional connection

Strategies to Ensure Healthy Connection
– Prioritizing non-tech connection and in-person interaction
– Joining groups and activities which nurture the whole self
– Tune in with your physical cues to your emotions such as sadness